Hot on the heels of the news that James Cameron (“Avatar,” “Titanic”) is considering a return to the “Terminator” film franchise — should the rights to the iconic sic-fi film series revert back to him in 2019 as they are currently slated to — the director spoke to The Daily Beast about how one could make Terminator relevant in the modern entertainment age.
When asked whether he felt later sequels had hijacked his original work, the director said, “It hasn’t been hijacked. It’s really just stumbled along, trying to find its voice again. There’s probably some degree to where it’s lost relevance, you know? Maybe the things that made it good back then are kind of a yawn now.”
Cameron added, “It’s easy to remember fondly the things that kick off a franchise. It’s hard to keep a franchise vigorous, and relevant. I haven’t had my hand on the tiller since Terminator 2, and that was 1991. So what’s that? Twenty-six years? But look, I think it’s possible to tell a great Terminator story now, and it’s relevant. We live in a digital age, and Terminator ultimately, if you can slow it down, is about our relationship with our own technology, and how our technology can reflect back to us—and in the movie, literally, in a human form that is a nemesis and a threat.”
“But also in those movies, in the two that I did, it’s about how we dehumanize ourselves. In a time when people are being absorbed by their virtual-social world, I mean, just look around. I always say: if Terminator was about the war between the humans and the machines, look around any restaurant or airport lounge and tell me the machines haven’t won when every human you see is enslaved to their device. So could you make a relevant Terminator film now? Absolutely.”
The most recent installment, “Terminator: Genisys,” did poorly both critically and at the box office, grossing just $90 million domestically in 2015, but if anyone can revive the franchise’s fortunes in the future, you wouldn’t want to bet against Cameron pulling it off.
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